The Longest Dream
(self-produced, 2000)

The Longest Dream is a concept album based on dreams, and it is indeed a lovely and dreamy CD. Some spoken word is blended with electronic music into fifteen tracks and more than an hour of music. The influences heard here are diverse, from classical through world music, and are mixed seamlessly into a fascinating and meditative whole.

While the moody artwork and sparse text in the liner fit well with the album's concept, I would have appreciated a bit more information on any aspect of the music. The track listing puzzled me; it lists sixteen tracks, not fifteen, and the times given do not match up with those on the CD. This makes it difficult to discuss the pieces, since I'm not sure I'm attributing the correct title to the track.

In any event, I particularly enjoyed track 2, "Darkness Brings the Moon," with its combination of percussion, electronic sounds and piano into a piece with worldbeat roots. Other tracks that evoke the natural world are "Guardian of the River" and "La Fille de la Forêt."

Many of the pieces are linked by haunting "Transitions." These are especially welcome in an album like this, where abrupt changes would dissipate the moods evoked. The spoken-word components are in these sections and in the "Intro." The speech has been manipulated electronically which fits it into the mood wonderfully well, but does make it a bit hard to discern.

People who like ambient and new age music will enjoy this album, I think. It's more musically sophisticated than many such offerings, but in a way that only adds to its appeal. It's not an ideal album to listen to with close attention; it seems to cry out for a corresponding activity -- yoga, perhaps, or painting -- activities that will be enhanced by its dreamy nature.

[ by Amanda Fisher ]
Rambles: 25 August 2001

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